Nancy Hastings offers tips for those who want to improve where they're at
Once again this summer, the “Staycation” is gaining traction and popularity among over one third of 3,500 people surveyed recently by the Today show. For many it has become quite literally an exercise in re-discovering their own backyard. Instead of investing their vacation dollars in a far-away place, they’ve taken a fraction of that amount, and improved their homes in many ways they find brings them great enjoyment all year ‘round and most certainly will pay the homeowner back when the time is right for resale.
Real estate research has shown that improved and maintained landscapes can add as much as 10- to 25 percent more value to your home price when you decide to sell your house. The real bottom line of home landscaping should also be what joy and value it brings to you every day you wake up. Many folks have opted for adding a hot tub or a water feature in their own back yard. When it is installed in a great garden environment with privacy hedging, many homeowners feel they don’t need to go anywhere to feel like they are at the Camelback Spa… no waiting, no airports, no crowds. Perhaps a staycation is just what you need to turn your home into your own daily retreat.
Begin by taking some pictures and measurements of the area you’d like to renovate. Because we do live in a four-season environment, don’t forget to think about plowing paths. Will you be using the area year-round? Where does your roof drop the snow in heaps? What would you like to see out your window from this area?
Perennials are great for heavy snow-load and plowing areas, because these soft tissue beauties go dormant in the winter and even gorgeous, three-foot poppies and five-foot ornamental grass can take a beating to the ground and bounce back ever more beautiful next year.
Are you working around any obstacles including tree roots, utility poles or boxes? Make notes of your goals: more outdoor lounging/entertaining space, more vegetable growing space, less lawn to mow, more privacy or more year-round color for example.
Whether you are thinking of a new deck, new footpath or a new perennial bed, it’s best to do a bit more planning before you dig in so you stay within your budget and once underway, the project goes smoothly and you have all the supplies needed. Breaking the project into segments will make it more reasonable and relaxing:
2. Hardscape installation: Rocks, irrigation, decking etc.
3. Landscape planting